Customer experience (CX) and sustainability are agenda-topping priorities for many enterprises today, not least because of their influence on customer acquisition and loyalty. When it comes to customer communications, Lucy Klinkenberg-Matthews, Head of Sustainability for Paragon Customer Communications (PCC), explains how the latest technologies empower enterprises to deliver enhanced CX and amplify their sustainability credentials.
Businesses can no longer think of sustainability and customer experience as separate objectives. Today’s experience-led customers understand the social and environmental impact of their purchasing decisions. They are willing to use their buying power to incite positive change. This evolving behaviour means that consumers expect sustainability to be part of the brand experience.
Across both B2B and B2C markets, customers are increasingly looking for brands with sustainable products and services. In the B2C market, KMPG’s ‘Customer Experience in the New Reality’ report from 2020 showed that over half of consumers take sustainability into account when making a purchase. In the same period, over a quarter of UK consumers reported ditching a brand because of its poor credentials.
In the B2B market, procurement is an integral part of many organisations’ sustainability strategies and in the age of transparency, the publishing of annual sustainability reports is becoming the norm. As a result, B2B businesses with poor sustainability credentials are starting to lose out as their customers are driven to build greener supply chains. For listed companies, there’s also the need to consider investors, as 85% of individual ones are interested in sustainable investing. Some major institutions, like Blackrock, are even planning to make environmental sustainability the ‘focal point’ of their investment decisions.
For both B2B and B2C organisations, sustainability is also an inseparable part of the employee experience, with 40% of workers now seeking employment with ethical companies. The sustainable strategy efforts and strong company values are something that inevitably affects B2B long term partnerships as well.
For businesses looking to become more sustainable, customer communication makes one area where a real difference can be made. Thanks to new technologies, it is now possible for organisations to measure their communications’ environmental footprints, find sustainable improvements, and put them into practice. Sending an email instead of a printed letter, for example, can reduce the carbon footprint of a communication campaign. Of course, digital communications do still have an impact and eradicating unnecessary emails, of which the UK sends 64 million a day, could reduce national carbon emissions by over 23,000 tonnes.
Actions like this one have a double benefit: aside from reducing carbon emissions, they allow businesses to infuse their customer experiences with sustainability. In doing this, organisations augment their sustainability credentials and increase customer, employee, partner, and investor appeal – all of which are critical to achieving growth. What is more, by working with a communications partner who shares the same sustainability vision and the capacity to deliver on it, businesses can make progress far more quickly.
The advanced technology has the potential to empower companies in delivering sustainable customer experience. Modern tech solutions can provide customers with carbon-friendly CX through smartphone apps, chatbots, digital advisors, virtual assistants, augmented reality and more.
Beyond all the above, today’s digital platforms can integrate customer interactions, data management and financial transactions. This gives companies the ability to develop sustainable, omnichannel communications and deliver greener services and experiences. With convenient digital services, customers don’t need to frequently visit physical premises but still can do it when necessary. Those who prefer person-to-person conversations can access real-time guidance and support from real people via video meeting or online chat.
A single system to support transformation
Increasing demand for sustainable customer experiences has sped up competition to deploy these enabling technologies. Nevertheless, putting the infrastructure in place is still a challenge, especially for firms whose digital transformation is held back by a reliance on legacy systems. The latest customer communications management (CCM) platforms, like PCC’s OnePlatform, provide the most effective and efficient way to do this.
The ability of OnePlatform to integrate with legacy systems provides organisations with a centralised communications delivery model that facilitates swift transformation. This unified approach establishes the delivery infrastructure needed to support effective omnichannel communications. It also allows companies to timely integrate new channels as they evolve.
OnePlatform also unifies data across all touchpoints, which is crucial for CX because it enables end-to-end customer journey mapping. Organisations can seamlessly send customers the right messages at the right times and via preferred channels. Moreover, OnePlatform data insights can be used to deliver CX-enhancing services like personalisation, while also finding ways to cut costs.
Sustainability-wise, these advanced CCMs are also inherently greener. By unifying systems and data, OnePlatform is considerably more efficient than siloed systems. As it monitors data about a business’ communications operations, the tool also helps brands to find more environmentally-friendly ways of communication.
From a sustainability perspective, the latest CCMs enable enterprises to monitor their communications’ carbon emissions, providing detailed understandings to push the UK towards its net-zero emissions target.
Now that sustainability and CX are becoming inseparable, it is more important than ever for businesses to implement greener customer communications. Today, the solution for many is to work with a communications partner, like Paragon Customer Communications, that not only has the experience to help them deploy carbon-friendly technologies but which, crucially, shares their sustainability vision.
Create seamless, sustainable customer experiences that go beyond expectations by contacting Paragon Customer Communications today: www.paragon-cc.co.uk.